The Strad Issue: January 2010
Musicians: Mira Glodeanu (Baroque violin)
Composer: Bach, Biber, Pisendel & Westhoff

There is a remarkable intimacy and adventurousness about Mira Glodeanu’s account of Bach’s First Sonata (BWV1001). She possesses a clean, substantially accurate left-hand technique and largely conveys voice-leading clearly and intelligently. Particularly commendable are her quasi-improvisatory flexibility in the opening Adagio, and her spry, fleet fingerwork in, and thoughtful scaling of, the Fuga. She also offers an imaginative, dance-influenced interpretation of Bach’s Chaconne (from BWV1004), demonstrating poise, control and mastery of multiple-stopping. However, her individual stop-start approach to rubato, where hesitations within and between phrases make little expressive sense and often destroy the line, together with her over-indulgence in some arpeggiando passages, spoil the overall musical effect. Her over-complicated approach to the subtle rhythmic play of the final Presto of Bach’s First Sonata sounds as if she is suffering from hiccups.

Nevertheless, Glodeanu performs Biber’s Passacaille with intoxicating virtuosity and rare sensitivity. She is even more extrovert in the finale of Pisendel’s A minor Sonata, and she lends a range of tonal colouring to its other movements and the dances of Westhoff’s Fourth Suite, that accentuates their diverse and richly vibrant characters. The resonant recording draws particular attention to the sonorous low register of her 1604 Marcin Groblicz violin.